Archive for the ‘Tim Walther Adventures’ Category

NOBODY Likes an Expert – lessons from one of the greatest communicators of all time

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

I recently attended Brenden Bouchard’s Expert Academy in San Francisco.  The concept of the intensive four day training way how to position yourself, and your company, as an expert.   The training was excellent for many reasons. The foundation is that most of us have a certain level of expertise that we want to share with the world. The question is, “How do I bring my expertise into the world, to make a positive impact for the good of others and make a living while doing it?”   

Like anything in life, there are SYSTEMS, that help us to turn our ideas and visions into reality. Earlier this year I decided that THIS YEAR is going to be the year for Grand Dynamics to expand our impact through information products, systems and on-line training.  In doing so I have been studying in great detail many of the big time on-line product sales gurus.  One of them being Eban Pagan, who is know for his Guru Mastermind programs and systems. Eban is all about selling information products on-line. He made more than 20 million last year in on-line product sales.  What I have paid special attention to are the systems which these “experts” employ.  The sales copy, the product launch, the value propositions, the mixed media deliverable, etc… 

In early April I received an email from Tony Robbins recommending some free video training from Brendan Bouchard.  All it said was, “check out this link, there’s good free training, and it’s only up for a few days.  Of course, I went to the site and checked it out.  It was “Expert” training for Speaking, Seminars, Coaching and Publishing.  Ummm, okay!  Well one thing led to another and I signed up.  Now I could tell you a TON about the systems that I learned over these four days.  And I will be sharing a few of my insights down the road. I will tell you that Grand Dynamics is positioned to expand our influence and add tremendous value to individuals, teams and organizations.   Armed with these new systems, we are ready to fully leverage our organizational potential. 

So there Holly and I were, after two days of intense training, waiting for what I knew would be a highlight of the weekend – Tony Robbins joining us to share his secrets on how he created his empire.   Tony stepped onto the stage and his presence was simply undescribable. He IMMEDIATELY took control of the packed house of 400 by simply SHOWING UP.  His first words to the crowd were something to the effect of, “You are all EXPERTS or want to be EXPERTS, right?”   “YES!” Well I have news for you, NOBODY LIKES AN EXPERT.  In fact, experts are ego-filled know it alls that are typically pretty darn annoying.  He went on with this them for some 15 minutes, essentially telling all of us that we don’t want to be experts at all!  And as I listened, I could do nothing but agree with him.  WHAT WE REALLY WANT TO BE IS A SERVANT.  Yes, a servant which brings all our passion, knowledge and skill to the world to ultimately create an incredible positive impact in society.  As leaders, we want to add so much VALUE that our service is undeniable.  This concept has been ringing in my ears since he stepped off the stage.

The rest of the 4 hours of Tony’s talk was filled with stories of how he has made it out of one seemingly impossible situation after the next. I mean truly amazing.  He talked about how our belief systems and determination and our goal of being servants for GREATER GOOD is what will drive our long-term value and success as “experts.” I believe it. I am so passionately fired up about Grand Dynamics – and how we can empower individuals, teams and organizations to live to their true potential. We DO Have the expertise, the experience and the passion to add value. Get ready for a whole series of services, products and passionate GDI people dedicated to delivering value – and massive positive impact.

I’ll leave you with these thoughts – What is your passion?  Where do YOU have expertise?  Are you truly sharing your expertise for the GREATER GOOD in society? And if not, what’s holding you back?????  -  TIM

GDI Team Climbs UK Highest Peaks

Monday, May 11th, 2009

The 3 peaks was a “cracker!” I am sitting in a cabin on the coastline of Wales looking at White Horses (ocean waves) reflecting and getting ready to go climbing over the ocean this afternoon (shocker I know).

This event, the Coins Peaks Challenge involveves climbing the highest peask of Scotland, England and Wales in less than 24 hours. WHY? It’s a construction industry event fund raiser which brings together people from all over the construction industry in an effort of building an inclusive world through building sustainable communities for those in need around the world. Details of the 3 Peaks UK story are below.

Wow what an experience and tons to share! The experience was invaluable for connecting with the Coins Foundation staff and in furthering our knowledge for an exceptional design of the 3 peaks USA challenge. Holly and I arrived in Glasgow after a long trip from Sacramento, and met up with the great Will Leggett who travelled from New York. After an evening tour of the city  complete with some of the best karaoke (oxy-moron in know) I have eve heard and late night fun at Social Club, we met with Team USA the next day and travelled through he mountains of Scotland. On the way I indulged in a taste of haggis (yes this is the Scotish dish liver and “aweful bits”) which required a hike to shake it off! We were situated a he Chachaig hotel. http://www.clachaig.com/ Oddly enough his very lodge was the place I had originally intended on returning to after our event to climb in Scotland! Cool. And they have an ice-axe as the door-handle – way cool!

The next night in Scotland was a great welcome reception where Larry, Coins President, reported the conditions on he mountain being “awful with ice pellets so hard they might bash your face in!” and minus 30 celcius temperatures. We began to realize that “The Ben” would present a worthy challenge.  In the am we headed to fort William. I can’t say enough about how beautiful the country in Scotland is. Steep rock, flowing rivers and waterfalls and sheep everywhere!  We have one word to describe Scotland… “Moist!” Ha-ha – It was pouring rain intermittently from when we stepped off the plane until we left the country!

At the base of Ben Nevis Will, Holly and I spent the afternoon interviewing and observing mountain operations, briefings and logistics before heading up. Our energy was high and we were so excited to finally be on he move.  The hike was stopped 45 minutes as a woman was heli-evacuated by search n rescue after falling down a ravine near a bridge crossing! The hike continued through Scottish landscapes with bens and glens (mountains and valleys) in the distance. Mountain sheep were everywhere. The hike continued up past the snowline into foggy and icy conditions.  We were eventually stopped by mtn marshals who deemed the summit attempt too dangerous, as there are steep cliffs on each side and white out conditions. Hop, skip and a jump through shimmering sunlight and 4hrs 20
minutes later we made it safely back to base.

Then off for the 5-hour drive to England to Scafell Pike, arriving at 1 am. 2 and a half hrs later we were up and, after some confusion at check-in, we left 15 minutes late for the final hour – turned 45 minutes via back road race to the base for a 5:45 am start. This time holly stayed at base camp to observe operations and mingle w the drivers and staff.
Beautiful valley hike along a sweet river near gritstone rock and… More sheep! Will and I climbed with coins team USA to support their effort. False summits and slick boulder fields highlighted the journey. Oddly enough, we returned to base right at 4 hrs 20 minutes!  We “enjoyed” a British “recovery meal” of bacon on a hamburger bun. Good one. Another 5 hour drive in uncomfortable positions and we were in Wales – the land of magicians and dragons – and at the base of Snowdon for the final summit bid. A striking day! We enjoyed the hike with team USA again and I stopped on 3 occasions to administer first aid on the mountain for ankle and blister injuries (one was a nice young welsh girl hiking with her family and they were all shocked and happy to receive help from a nice USA person.) We continued to the summit passin g… you guessed it… more sheep! And amidst strong wind and thick fog along a narrow ridge, which made for a nice dramatic feel to the final summit. We arrived at the base at a remarkable 4 hours 20 minutes! (No kidding – totally weird) an outstanding finish with everyone celebrating and feeling great.

We DID meet the goal to complete the race in less than 24 hours and, even more importantly, observing the event, operations and dynamics. Nearly 10,000 feet of climbing in 13 hours and 10 hours of driving on about 3 hrs of sleep!  We had a nice debrief and meeting with coins staff and we provided them with several insights about how the USA 3 peaks will be a bit different (all positive GDI elements which were not present in this race, but could be). Overall the whole event was “cracker!”

IMPACT
And what’s most important about this event is the incredible impact that is being made by the people in the  construction industry. In the celebration closing event Ric Law, COINS Foundation CEO echoed Larry’s thanks and explained further that the COINS Foundation is all about construction but that the legacy is not the buildings themselves but thriving, sustainable communities.  Ric went onto explain how funds would be spent this year. Project priorities this year include providing housing for hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children in Mozambique; physiotherapy, play and family support programs for disabled children in the UK and Zambia. Health programs combating HIV aids, Malaria and illnesses resulting from poor sanitation in Zambia and Tanzania; Projects to train and employ orphaned youth in Rwanda and disabled young people in Zambia and a place at school for over 1,200 children in Kenya, Zambia and Uganda. More information about the event and the Coins UK 3 Peak Challenge Course Report can be found at http://www.coins3peakschallenge.com/cp_root/h/The_Event/2009_Event_Report/329/

For more information on the COINS Foundation projects keep an eye on the web site  www.coinsfoundation.org
3 PEAKS USA!   Sound awesome?  Well we’re creating the same type of event in the USA to take place this year September 19-20. Check it out at http://www.coins3peakschallenge.com/usa/h/Home/Home/21/

We plan to follow up with them about the pr and other items on Monday at their office in London. More stories about the rest of our trip are soon to come!

FLOW – GERONIMO – Yosemite and Royal Serenity

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

Yosemite National Park

  

Following my Abalone Diving Experience Holly and I cruised to something a bit more familiar – the land of beautiful rock – Yosemite National Park. 

 

 

 

 

Tim - "Crazy" Gary - Holly

 

We met my climbing partner Gary Falk, who I last climbed with in Potrero Chico, Mexico in December.  Our first day was a nice warm up and Holly got to experience the beautiful Yosemite rock on Munginella – a classic four-star multi-pitch.

 

 

 

That night Gary and I decided to step it up and link up two Yosemite Classic crack climbs – Serenity Crack (5.10d) to Sons of Yesterday (5.10a).  Super-topo Yosemite Classics calls this link up “the best and most sustained 5.10 route in Yosemite!”  We sat around the camp fire that night and thoughts raced through my mind…  This Spring has been interesting for me. Late Winter and Spring is typically filled with intense training (climbing gym in particular) for me. However, this year my focus had been on music – playing the drums with my Rock Band Wounded Knee.  Sure, playing drums intensely is a work-out, particularly when we play marathon 10-12 hour sessions, but nothing can replace training for climbing, like climbing.  Anyway, when I climb with Gary I know that he will catch me if I fall, and when i climb I shoot for being in FLOW. Optimal climbing for me lies right on the edge of my ability and the challenge that presents itself. Isn’t that true for most things in life? Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi would certainly agree! He wrote the book FLOW – the Psychology of Optimal Performance. And it’s one of my favorites. I’ll leave you with one of his quotes at the end of this post.

Back to the camp-fire.  There I was, thinking about just how difficult a 10d crack in Yosemite might be considering my current state. Tim: “So, Gary, I imagine that the falls will be pretty clean on this on, eh?” Gary: “Why do you have to do there? There’s not going to be any falls tomorrow. We’re going to send Jeronimo to the grave!”  To put this comment in context, Geronimo is the nickname Gary has given me because of my propensity to fall while climbing. Yes, it’s true. I tend to fall a lot. Well that’s the case because I am always pushing my limits. And as Scottie McGee said in the Seeking True North seminar in Jackson, when we fall while climbing, we actually successfully determine our limits! In any case, there is something to be said about “sending” a climbing route. That is, climbing it completely without a hang or fall.  THAT was our intention. 

Serrenity - Sons of Yesterday

Serenity Crack begins with a run-out start where you follow a tight seam of piton-scars (spots where people have hammered in iron steaks to ascend the route with aid).  Gary led the first pitch and the day was fairly windy and a bit chilly. Perfect climbing weather to add a bit of drama!  Pitch two was my turn to lead and has beautiful hand jamming cracks with a middle crux (most difficult part) which involves a delicate sequence of moves across a seemingly blank face.  I stepped across with some friction and made the move with grace.  The final part of the pitch has a classic overhang where you get to experience lieing backward 300 feet off the deck and power through the roof! Sweet. 

Pitch three is the crux of the climb is a continuous, beautiful hand crack which diminishes to finger locks and tips!  I got to the crux and Gary was above me some 15 feet.  “Come-On Tim! Send It!  It’s gets better… it gets better! Come-On!”  I locked my finger tips in the crack and powered through the sequence.  Gary’s words gave me encouragement to continue on in the difficult moment, knowing that a better hold was coming.  What a great coaching technique!  Letting someone know that, when you are in the midst of a very difficult project or challenge, that light is at the end of the tunnel.  Yet another climbing metaphor for life and business.  We continued the climb and on to Sons Of Yesterday, which was above it.  The whole thing (several pitches) was one beautiful, clean, classic Yosemite hand jam crack after the next! Awesome.  We finished the climb about 1000 feet from where we had started a few hours ago. We started to rappel and Gary said, “We should bang out Royal Arches next.” WHAT?  He wanted to not only go climb something else, but he wanted to climb another 1600 foot route!  One which is has been dubbed a “50 classic of North America” climb and one that many people would consider a massive undertaking in and of itself.  The guide book says Royal Arches is “committing and has benighted more that a few climbers…” good thing it was about 1:00 pm when we started!   “Um…. okay!  Let’s do it!”

I will spare you the intimate details of that climb. You must know that it certainly is worthy of the classic rating and is filled with exciting moments, and certainly lots of incredible climbing.  Gary and I simul-climbed it, which means the leader goes first and when he gets to the end of the rope, the follow starts to climb at the same time as the leader. Both climbers are secured on the mountain by pieces of gear in between them which are attached to the rock in the event that one is to fall.  We climbed the entire route in 4 pitches! Awesome.  At one vivid point I was in the lead, climbing up the classic “tree pitch” where you have to swing out over the rock face, feet dangling.  I swung around to see Gary about 200 feet away at the end of the rope swinging across the pendulum pitch, with a beautiful waterfall in between us.  Quite the mountain experience….

In summary, we finished the incredible day of climbing and made it back to camp in plenty of daylight.  rock climbing is an incredible metaphor for WHAT IS POSSIBLE and for the psychology of optimal performance.  I had indeed experienced the flow zone nearly the entire day.  No-one had fallen.  As we put out the camp fire, Gary’s put a final stamp on the day with the perfect final comment, “GERONIMO IS DEAD!”

From FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal  Performance

“We have all experienced times when, instead of being buffeted by anonymous forces, we do feel in control of our actions, masters of our own fate. On the rare occasions that it happens, we feel a sense of exhilaration, a deep sense of enjoyment that is long cherished and that becomes a landmark in memory for what life should be like….. moments like these are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times…the best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”

Happy Birthday! – Abalone Diving Near-Death Experience –

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Abalone Dive Site - Northern California Coast

 

It turns out that the last day of my 36th year was nearly my last.  Below is the account of my Abalone Diving experience from last weekend (April25-26).  I have been diving for 13 years now, and never have I had such a frightening, life-changing experience. Enjoy the read and the insights that may come of it.

 

 

Thursday April 23rd   

On Thursday I called Robert at Diver’s Cove to check on gear availability and to see if he would still help me 5 minutes after he was supposed to be closed at 6.  The vibe was right on – “I’ll hook you up bro.” Sweet. I arrived with a 6 pack and checked the gear. Full 2 piece wetsuit, booties, “special ab-catcher” fins, gloves, hoodie, mask, snorkel and 24 lb weight belt – CHECK.  It goes along with the rest of the gear I own – Abalone Sizer, Ab-Bar, Waterproof tag case, Floatie, rope and tubes. CHECK.

Friday April 24th

 Friday turned out to be a very productive work day and the launch from Sacramento to the North Coast was delayed.  Holly and I got in to the packed Tahoe to finally drive away. Click. Click. click click click click click. No start! Dead Battery?  Well we decided not to trouble shoot the problem and transferred all the gear into Holly’s wagon-rig. Repacked. “Is this some sort of a weird sign telling us we weren’t supposed to go? Or just a challenge to be overcome to reach our objective?” I would ask myself this question several times on various occasions over the next 14 hours leading up to the dive.

Holly and I acquired a few last minute supplies – groceries, fishing license, Ab License and tags – CHECK – and headed out on the 3 hour drive, finishing up Highway 1 on the California coast. We arrived at the camp site just after dark and were greeted by Fessler, Danielle and a warm fire.   Paul and Cathy arrived a short while later and after some late night catch up – we realized that Paul had forgotten one critical piece of gear – his mask!  This was quite odd as Paul is very particular about ALL his gear. In our 13 years of diving together, I’ve never seen him forget a thing. Another sign? The auditor in him came out, “Even if you have done something 1000 times that physical checklist can make all the difference.” UNCHECK.

Saturday, April 25th

Morning came quickly and after a “cross-your fingers and hope the guy in the trailer park is open at 7:30 AM” stop, we got Paul’s mask and headed to the ocean. Lucky-CHECK.

On the walk down to the ocean my mind began to rise with a mixture of fear and anticipation.  Why had I not made it to the pool last week to practice my diving!?  There’s one thing I can say about abalone diving – it’s scary as hell. I’m not a natural water person – I prefer the mountains.  This is one of my personal “stretch-challenges.”  It puts me well into the growth zone every time. In fact, every time I dive I get nervous – and for good reason.  Abalone diving is a VERY dangerous sport. Try combining a rocky shoreline, massive kelp fields, powerful waves, rip tides and one of the largest Great White Shark breeding grounds in the world which is 20 miles off the coast. Just like anything, there are lots of factors and techniques when ab diving that will increase the odds of your safety.  And when I dive with Paul, we stack as many of those odds in our favor. And like much of life, you can’t always control ALL the variables. I ALWAYS have gone with Paul, and it’s a good thing I did again this year.

Missing License – ANOTHER SIGN?

We made it to the overlook and the tide was actually looking quite good when we arrived. Even though it was getting on the late side, I felt good when I looked at the tide level.  I got all suited up, which is a task all in itself, and went through my final check.  “Where’s my Tag Case with the license?” I must have left it in the car!  … a quarter mile back up the rock trail… You might think that not having a license is no big deal, but would you want to risk a $10,000 fine for pulling an ab without a license?

 After 15 minutes I began to realize that Holly hadn’t found the case, so I sprinted up to the car (in my full wet-suit).  NO-CHECK.  It must have been back at the camp site (10 minute drive).  ANOTHER SIGN?  Holly drove like a champion speed racer and we got the case and were back down to the water 30 minutes later.  By this time the tide had come in some and the water was starting to get a bit rougher – it was about 10 AM, which is the time historically we are finished. WHY? Because after about 10 AM the ocean typically gets rougher, the waves get bigger and the visibility gets worse.

I was finally almost ready until the strap on my fin kept malfunctioning… What next?!  

Paul “Magivered” the fin and we finished our final pre-dive review. I told Paul I was feeling tired from the lack of sleep, the sprinting back and forth to get my license and messing with my fins.  We both recognized that the water was getting rougher. Paul:  “Let’s just get the limit and get out.  And remember, if you have any trouble, pop the weight belt!”    Tim: “Let’s do it!”

I have been diving about once a year for the past 13 years.  This year just seemed different. Was I not as prepared? Were there too many signs not to listen to? Was it just fear rearing its ugly head? Out of the comfort zone? CHECK!

The Dive - Paul Dickey and Tim Walther

The Dive - Paul Dickey and Tim Walther

 

THE DIVE

We picked our way through the mine-field of rocks and the crashing set of waves, which seemed much bigger than they looked from the shore. I pumped the fins and cut through the kelp.  The ocean pushed back. It seemed as if the ocean flipped the switch just as we entered and the volume and intensity was dialed up about 11 notches.  Bigger, stronger waves. Stay Calm. Breathe.  Swing strong! Stay Calm. Breathe. Just getting past the breakers was exhausting.  Paul set the anchor near the rock-breaker with powerful, surging, pounding waves.  The visibility was poor and all that could be seen from the surface was a swirling foam of white. I balanced on the top of the floatie trying to catch my breath. Paul shouted out to me, “You have to dive down! You can’t see anything from the surface!”  I nodded in agreement and went down for my first dive. About 15 down the pressure came surging in my head.  I took a quick glance around at the swirling underwater world and went back up immediately.  Back on the floatie to catch my breath… again. Thank goodness for the floatie!  After a minute I mustered up the strength for my next dive and went all in.  I cranked my fins so hard that this time, on my way down, I felt my hamstring pop.  OW! Damn.  I shook off the new injury and went down again, this time I saw one. I immediately swam to it and in my rush, all my ab-bar popping technique went out the window. The wrong angle and the ab locked onto the rock. I gunned it back to the surface and big breaths to regain my wind. I began to wonder whether I would be able to do it. I was tired and getting more tired with each dive. Down again – this dime for a longer dive. I swam along the ocean floor past huge rocks toward a kelp field and when the waves surged, a huge ab revealed itself. Diving through or under kelp is a dangerous proposition 20 feet under for obvious reasons.  I figured I had about 15 seconds left in my lungs, calculated the strategy, planned the angle and went for it. I angled the ab bar and got the pop – off came the abalone. I grabbed it like a greased watermelon and bolted toward the top. Gasping for air, I felt a surge of relief as I held up my first catch.  It wasn’t exactly enormous, but did meet the legal limit. One in the bag. 

ab diving

ab diving

 

As I rested another minute the waves continued to increase in size and intensity. The size of the big-wave sets grew larger and the time between sets was decreasing.   The sound of the waves crashing on the nearby rocks was deafening.  I dove again. And again. And again. On my fifth or so dive I got another ab. However, this one was a hair too small. No dice.  I dove again and this time held my breath so long that I came up gasping for air and to get on the floatie, which Paul was resting on. As I thrashed to get on the floatie, I mistakenly hit Paul in the head with my Ab bar! “AHHHH!!!! Am I bleeding?!” Paul’s voice was in panic as he felt his head for blood.  I yelled out to him over the pounding waves, “No Blood Man – I’m sorry man – I’m getting tired!” Paul: “Get the limit and let’s get out of here!”   I released the floatie and swam away to another spot about 20 feeet or so away. 20 feet led to 30 feet, which led to 40 and 50 feet.  I was burning energy and oxygen RAMPIDLY.  But I wanted my limit – 3 abalone.   In one massive diving effort I scored two abalone at once! I came up breathing hard and my lungs felt like they were on fire. 

STRUGGLE for LIFE

I kept kicking and headed back toward the floatie, which was now some 50 feet away, AGAINST the tide current.  As I held the abs I tried to keep my eyes on the floatie and kicked hard.  My snorkel-breathing was extremely heavy. I was exhausted.  BIG TIME.  I was trying to hold onto my abs and had to get to the floatie and rest!  20 leg strokes later I looked up to check my progress and I was in nearly the same place that I was in when I began.  The current was too strong to make it back to the floatie. As I came to this realization I dropped the two abalone and began to swim with everything I had for the floatie.  The waves had picked up and were surging and crashing and it felt like I was getting pulled out into the sea.  As my predicament became vividly apparent, a sense of panic began to take over me. Like I have never felt before, I had a flash of total helplessness.  My head had an eerie hot-flash feeling from the lack of oxygen and I began to gasp for air. The floatie looked like it was a mile away. Would I be able to make it?  I repeated my words to myself “Stay Calm. Breathe.”

I spotted Paul, spit out my snorkel and, while using more energy, waved my florescent ab bar back and forth frantically, yelling out to him. “Paul! Help! Get the float!” Could he see the panic in my eyes some 40 feet away?  Did he even know how much I was struggling? I couldn’t tell. Paul dove down again. He came up closer to the float this time and looked over to me. I screamed and waved again, and this time as I did a wave surged and I inhaled a gulp of salt ocean water and began to cough violently. I struggled to put the snorkel back in while kicking to maintain buoyancy. And for whatever reason, the simple act of popping my weight belt did not enter my mind. I had never been in this situation before, and it wasn’t an immediate second nature emergency response. And because it didn’t pop the weight belt, I continued to struggle, and to sink back down into the ocean. I thought I was done.

I mustered every ounce of strength to re-gain my breathing and paddle to stay afloat. I am NOT going to die!  The battle continued and finally Paul had made it to the floats!   How had he done it? Later I would find out that he had dove down to the bottom of the ocean some 30 feet down, enough to avert the powerful top current, and travelled along the ocean floor under pulling on rocks and kelp to get back to the float.

Even though he had made it, the struggle continued. It turns out that the anchor was stuck – and after more ocean bottom diving to try and release it, he managed to unattach the anchor and finally swim toward me. I was on my last breaths when we re-connected.  I grabbed the float and a feeling of gratitude like I have never felt before flowed over me. Behind my mask tears rolled out of my eyes. When I could finally speak, the only words I could muster were, “You saved my life.”

Exhausted - and ALIVE

Exhausted - and ALIVE

 

PROCESSING LESSONS LEARNED

I am still reflecting and processing this experience.  I have had many “on the edge” experiences in my adventurous life and this was, without a doubt at the top of the scariest, most life-threatening moments I have ever had. I had nearly drowned abalone diving. I was nearly another statistic.

So what do you do with an experience like this?  My initial comment to Paul as I sat on the shore pondering was that this experience had set me back 5 years in my abalone diving. I said this because it had instilled a fear in me that I wasn’t sure if I could get over – and I couldn’t tell how it would impact my desire to dive in the future. Paul’s comment was that it had actually ADVANCED my ab diving by 2 years.  Not sure how he picked that number really, but what’s the point? When you live through an experience then you actually GAIN years of experience when it is processed effectively. In that moment, Paul had helped me to REFRAME THE EXPERIENCE.  That’s what good friends do for each other.  

The question then becomes, how can I use my experience to my advantage? The simple process begins by asking, “What did I learn, and how can I apply that learning?” Well there are several technical diving details, but what I will say is that the PRACTICE of popping the weight belt in an emergency is something that you can’t do often enough.  It just needs to be ingrained that it becomes UNCONSCIOUS COMPETENT and an immediate reaction in an emergency. Any struggle = POP THE WEIGHT BELT!  Period. No questions. Had I done that immediately I would have been telling a different story right now.

THE SIGNS?  Hind sight is 20-20.  But what about all the signs? My car not starting, Paul forgetting his mask, me forgetting my license, and all of that leading to a delayed start.  At what point do you read the “signs” of life or just consider events obstacles to be overcome?   If you are reading this you probably know that I am a highly DOMINANT DiSC style and that I indeed see most things as challenges to be overcome, and I find great enjoyment in overcoming them. However, there is a fine line in the analysis of the universal energy flow and “indicators” as I call them.  What is the universe trying to tell you? These are the mysteries of life – and answers to which I will continue to SEEK.

LIFE’s GREAT QUESTIONS as you APPROACH DEATH

The bigger picture of things for me is really just sinking in.  What if I had died?  Who are the people who love me? Have I lived full out? What would people say about me at my funeral? Was I a positive impact in this world? Am I dying with honor and respect of those around me?  What legacy am I leaving? These are questions I have only began to process.

THANK YOU – I LOVE YOU ALL –   Paulo- I love you man, thanks for saving my life – again!  Holly, you’re beautiful and I love you too.  Thanks for for everything you do, and for drumming me while I dove, that might have just saved my life too. To all of you who sent me birthday wishes – THANKYOU!  To anyone I have met, I pray you have been influenced positively by me. And for those I have yet to meet, i love you too!

I could continue on, but for now, I will let this lie for a little while.  Please let me know any thoughts you might have. Thanks for reading and I encourage you to consider how my experience may relate to YOUR LIFE.  What are some lessons you might be able to take from this?  I wonder…

If you want more info about what Abalone is, go here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abalone If you want some info about recent deaths, go here:  http://sonic.net/~rocky/deathidx.htm\

  

UPDATES and UPCOMING EVENTS

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Wow, what and exciting past few weeks and and exciting future ahead! I am writing now from our Californina office where things are ramping up quite nicely.  Here are a few recent highlights!

Multi-day Team Building event with Web-Sense in Jackson Hole – Grand Dynamics delivered an action packed multi-day program for Web-Sense participants from across the globe. More than 42 participants representing more than 15 countries converges in Jackson Hole to celebrate their success and foster team-work and collaboration. Our three days includes a custom-designed sled-building event, an intown teaming with GPS program and complex search and rescue scenario on snow-mobiles! Thanks to the awesome GDI Team – Chuck, Diane, Adrian, Rob and Brendan – for spot on delivery.

Data-Net Solutions Team-Building - I travelled to San Diego to work with Data-Net President Mandy Parent and her Datanet team. What a pleasure that was!  What can I say about Mandy Parent? She’s AWESOME!  She exemplifies exceptional leadership and continiues to make her professional, team and organizational development a MUST.  The program was a series of team initiatives that provoked excellent insights about how to foster a positive culture and environment for success. It continues to be an honor to work with Mandy and her team – a relationship we have mainted for more than 5 years!

STAFFING UPDATES – We are excited to have Stephanie Sibille joing the Grand Dynamics as Western States Regional Director. She will be representing Grand Dynamics at industry conferences, including the upcoming Association for Experiential Education Western Region conference and, and leading sales efforts with Holly Baade in the Western States region, including San Francisco Bay area events. Stephanie is a sharp, energetic individual and we are excited to have her join our team! Welcome Stephanie!

Summer Interns – We are also excited to be finaliziing our Grand Dynamics summer interns for both Jackson Hole and New Yor offices. I’ll comment more about that later – but it is always great to share the wealth of experience with excited interns!  

UPCOMING EVENTS

COINS 3 Peak Challenge – UK – and USA!   One may 6, the GDI Team is travelling to the UK to climb the high peaks of Scotland, England and Whales in the Number 1 construction industry networking and fundraising adventure!  Check it out! http://www.coins3peakschallenge.com/cp_root/h/Home/The_Event/1/  And what’s more is that we are doing so to create the Coins 3 Peak Challenge – USA!  This construction industry networking and fund-raising adventure will take place September 19-20 in the North East where teams of 4 will climb the high peaks of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont! http://www.coins3peakschallenge.com/usa/h/Home/Home/21/

SEEKING TRUE NORTH – LAKE PLACID – check out the info about this incredible opportunity!  Rick and I will be together with whoever wants to join us for this amazing weekend of leadership development in an inspiring setting. This will take place over Memorial Day Weekend. Please register today and join us!  See the Compass on this home page for Seminar info and registration.

SEEKING TRUE NORTH – BALTIMORE – One June 11th we will be delivering a one-day program for CFMA members and is also open to the public to join us for the ACTION-PACKED LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT DAY!  I will be joined with the great Todd Walther, brother and GDI managing partner. Todd primed the pumps with his CFMA breakfast presentation – Riding the Possibility Curve  and Seeking True North.  Todd facilitated a series of leadership development topics related to HOW WE VIEW THE WORLD, our perspectives on business and how we can optimize our resources and experiences during current economic challenges.  Yeah Todd!  Register today! See the compass on this page for seminar information.

SEEKING TRUE NORTH JACKSON HOLE – Another STN event at the place where it all began – Jackson Hole WYoming!  Save the date for this incredible event the end of September this year.See the  Compass on this home page for Seminar info and registration.

TIM’s ADVENTURES – Well – I am off for my annual Spring Abalone Diving Trip!  What an adventure it will be. Diving 30 feet down to search for the elusive abalone amidsts crashing waves, flowing kelp and abundant rocks… let’s not forget dodging great white sharks! (Keep your fingers crossed for me!)  From there we will head to Yosemite Valley for a couple days of rock climbing!  Gary, my long time friend and climbing parner will be there and I can’t wait for the Yosemite Cracks!   I will give updates upon my return next week.

Keep on smiling … and LIVE YOUR ADVENTURE!

Tim

So you say you want a RESURRECTION? Well, SOMEBODY has GOT to DIE!

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

On Easter, Holly and I went to the Agape Spiritual Center to experience Sunday Service there and meet  Michael Bernard Beckwith. A friend of mine, Christine Stevens, told me about the Service.  She joined us for the experience and then left later that day for Iraq. She will be on a tour  delivering healing drum circle lessons among the war-torn Iraqi people.  She is amazing. And so was this meeting with Michael Beckwith – which was a long-time in the making as I have been a big fan of since I was exposed to his principles in movie “The Secret”. Since then I have been studying his work, listening to his CD’s and his name has been popping up all around me. I find it was no coincidence then, that I was supposed to meet him! Look Familiar?  Just after this, he turned to me and said, “Ahhh, yes. Brother Tim.”  As he looked at his signed copy of Seeking True North and said “THIS is mine!” Sweet.

Spiritual Connections

Spiritual Connections

What an experience it was! Wow. 3000 people. Maximum capacity. Mixed ethnicity. The Services (yes, I went to two of them back to back) began with a silent meditation session for 20 minutes, which then transitioned into the sounds of an amazing Harp, joined by a violin, and eventually by the rest of The Agape International Band!  Quite the way to set the tone.  Michael acknowledged the band and others and opened up by recognizing those outside – in the standing-room overflow area watching screens, “To those that will soon be listening to the CD, to all people, wherever you are – that we are all in the space of cosmic intelligence and releasing the high vibration and activating what is already within us. Immerse yourself in divine creativity. You are the emanation of divine potentiality and the evolutionary impulse. And you have got to go deep within to discover your own deep well spring.”

Here is some of Michael’s “Natural Sound:”

Let go of the LITTLENESS! What do we need to “let go” of, in order to evolve in our enlightenment? Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die!  So what has to die?  The first is our “littleness,” which I liken to a sense of lack or limited thinking. I ONLY have a little of this, or a LITTLE of that… Do you ever take a breath of air and thin to yourself at the same time, there might not be enough for the person next to me? HA! Take what you HAVE and bless it! if you are living in the “littleness” you are not necessarily afraid to fail, but to live!  IF YOU ARE NOT ALREADY LIVING LIFE TO ITS FULLEST – you ARE FAILING!  Be WILLING to let that which does not serve us to be gone!

What ELSE has to die?  How about the LABELS which others put on us, we put on others or we put on ourselves? What if your brother was the one on death row?  What if you treated every person with love, as if the brother or sister?  Are we using positive LANGUAGE in regard to our SELF analysis? Are we aware of when we put someone into a box that might not fit? Ourselves in a box that is limiting?

When you consider a situation, consider that the race is already won before you start! (But you still have to win the race:O)  What old paradigms are dying?! What unsustainable practices are dying?!  The Acorn is looking at the Oak Tree saying, “It’s finished!”

Jesus was “A deep dude!”  (Love that.) And he was one that found enlightenment in one lifetime and was able to allow the falseness to dissolve. As he was crucified on the cross, he was joined by the two thieves, representing the past and the future.  TODAY thou shalt be with me here in paradise. Every Saint has a past and every Sinner has a future. And when you are in your darkest moment, realize that YOU WERE BORN INTO THIS MOMENT that would not have been revealed without this current experience. And it is in these moments that we may forge our greatest power.

“So shall we all – So shall it be!”

Move beyond your littleness, your labels. Move into the NOW and take your leap into LIVING!